Asking The Right Business Continuity Questions
A comprehensive business continuity plan addresses the interrelationships of business operations, management, personnel, ownership, customers and vendors. You will be working on strategies in all of these areas when you work with your client and his or her Advisor Team to create the Business Continuity Component of a comprehensive plan.
If you find yourself working with a business owner who plans to transition ownership of the company upon his or her death or disability, but has no plans to maintain consistent management through that transition period or has no strategy for consistent communication with the general employee population during that difficult time, consider making a recommendation that facilitates and supports that ownership transition.
In our Business Continuity National Technical Webcast we discuss the essential Business Continuity elements. It is your role as a comprehensive Exit Planning Professional to express to your business owner client the need to plan for the unappealing possibility of his or her own demise. You can start the planning process by investigating and identifying issues with your clients by asking the following questions:
- Who has the skills to manage the business during a difficult ownership transition following a business continuity event?
- What are the specific areas of management that must be addressed in order to preserve the value of the business?
- What are the specific expectations that the transition management individual/team must meet?
- How will their management performance be measured and quantified?
- Who will determine whether performance is adequate?
- Is it necessary for the transition management to delegate any responsibilities during the transition period?
- At what point will the transition management support be complete?
- What is an appropriate reward for successful continuity of management?
- What are the expected concerns of employees following a continuity event?
- Who will communicate transition plans to employees?
- What message should be conveyed to employees in order to reduce anxiety?
- Realistically, will some reduction in employee base be necessary?
The answers to these questions will guide you in working with your clients to identify specific steps that your client wants his or her managers, employees and/or advisors to take in the event of his or her death or disability in order to preserve the continuity, value and stability of the business.